The Lost World (1925) - Film Adaptation

Having read the book, I was intrigued to see some visual interpretations of the novel and thus watched the original silent film adaptation of The Lost World made in 1912.

I'm disappointed to say that the film really did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original story an injustice, taking liberties to add new characters and changing the story entirely in places (a Brontosaurus roaming the streets of London!!). Characters motivations and principles were changed entirely which I find simply wrong and disrespectful to the original novel. Squeezed into just 1 hour, it came to little surprise that the pacing was inconsistent lingering far too long or rushing through particular sequences. I guess I'm being a bit harsh on a silent film made in the early of the 20th century intended for a film audience, but I just found the book wonderful with great potential that I am bewildered as to how they could mess things up so awfully.

Being one of the first films to feature stop motion model animation, this became apparent with some tried and true iconic dinosaur designs. While it did not stand out for me in particular, it was admirable in some of the more complex animation sequences with dinosaurs jumping, biting and clawing at each other in ferocious combat.

Nevertheless, the environments were a little intriguing with layered foreground, midground and background elements composing a variety of shots. Dinosaurs would be present to also illustrate a further sense of scale and depth in a scene. The use of light was actually effective in certain scenes, where the breadth of a landscape would slowly be unveiled in a cast of light.

With their interpretation of the plateau in particular, I could not help but spot the similarities with Pixar's 'Up' location of Paradise Falls.

Its amazing to think that perhaps Pixar got their inspiration of the plateau from The Lost World. Come to think of it, the tropical bird Kevin could be reference to one of the huge great running birds that chased Professor Challenger, being similar in description 'far taller than a ostrich, with a vulture-like neck', as well as the whole notion of embarking on an adventure.

Overall, while I was disappointed in the film, I'm sort of glad to have watched it in gaining a better understanding of the source material and perhaps the limitations in translating a novel to the big screen. The environments were inspiring enough to spur some further ideas that I will no doubt try soon enough.


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